Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Canned Cilantro Tomato Salsa

I have a thing for chips and salsa. I could eat it all day, everyday and never tire of it. Having said that, I'm also kind of a salsa snob. I can't eat just any salsa. I know it's sad, but I just can't. I've been spoiled with picking vine ripened tomatoes along with fresh peppers and onions. Things just don't taste the same when it comes from a jar. However, when summer is over what's a girl to do? I've got to have something for the winter, but canned salsa in a jar just won't do, so I've been trying out a few different salsas for canning. Here's the first one I've come up with. It's not my favorite, but it's definitely better than anything at the store, so here goes.
_MG_9599.jpgFirst take those beautiful vine ripened tomatoes and score them with an X. We've got to peel those skins off.
_MG_9601.jpgThrow some tomatoes into a pot of boiling water. Don't leave them in there for too long though because they will start to cook and we don't want that. We don't want a bunch of mushy tomatoes. 
_MG_9787.jpgQuickly throw them in to a bowl of ice water. Then have your children peel the skins off the tomatoes. They'll actually enjoy this because they think it's pretty fun to play with slimy things.
_MG_9785.jpgNow take out your peppers and jalapenos. Aren't they beautiful? They're freshly picked too! You can roast them or not. I just chopped them up until they were pretty tiny. They're still pretty flavorful. Out here, in what everyone calls the west, green chiles are huge deal. There are all sorts of green chiles all with a different degrees of spice. There are street side green chile stands. You pick out your chiles and they roast them right there on the spot. The aroma is fantastic. There's nothing like fresh roasted chiles. It's something I had never experienced before moving to Denver. How did I miss out all those years? Anyway, for my dear family I have to go pretty mild. I usually purchase half a bushel of Big Jims or Mild Anaheims. Then, for myself, I get a small batch of spicier chiles. This is exactly why I love making my own salsa you can make it as spicy or mild as you want! Forget about those chiles that come in a can. Eww!
_MG_9789.jpgThrow all of your wonderful ingrdients into a large pot. Look at all the pretty colors. If only there was a scratch and sniff through the computer. You'd love the aroma in the kitchen. In this pot are chopped roasted green chiles, chopped jalapenos, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and some spices.
_MG_9792.jpgLet that simmer a bit so the flavors sort of cook together. 
_MG_9809.jpgThen fill your jars. Wipe the rims Place lids on the jars. Process them in your canner. Let them cool. There you have it.
_MG_9844.jpgNow crack open a bag of chips and eat away. I can probably finish a jare all by myself in just a day or two. I know. If cilantro isn't your thing (Lauren) just wait I've got another recipe for you. It's even better than this one, although this one is pretty good.

Canned Cilantro Salsa
Makes approximately 5 pints

5 lbs of tomatoes
1 lb large Anaheim,Marisol, or Big Jim roasted, green chiles (5-6 chiles)
3 jalapeno chilies, seeded and stems removed, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro (including stems)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)

1 Prepare for canning. Place new or clean mason jars on the rack of a large canning pot. Fill the jars with water and fill the pot with just enough water to come to the top of the jars. Heat water to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. (Keep the jars warm while preparing the salsa.) I normally throw some lids in as well.

2 Prepare the tomatoes. You want the tomatoes peeled, and there are several ways of doing that. Blanching them is easiest. Have a pot of boiling water ready. Score the tomatoes. Place them in boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove the tomatoes and put them in an icy water bath. The tomato skins should peel quite easily.

3 Put all of the ingredients into a large stainless steel pot.Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.

4 Adjust seasonings. If too acidic to taste, you can balance it with a little more sugar. If too sweet, add a bit more vinegar.

5 Ladle salsa into canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Wipe the rims with a clean, dampened paper towel so that there is no residual food on the rims. Place canning lids on the jars. Screw on the lid rings. Do not over-tighten or you may not get a good seal. Air does need to escape from the jars during the next step, the water bath.

6 Place the filled and lidded jars back onto the rack in the large stock-pot of hot water you used to sterilize the jars in step one. You may need to remove some of the water from the pot to prevent it from overfilling. Cover the jars with at least 1-inch of water. Bring to a rolling boil and process for 15 minutes (20 minutes for altitudes 1000 to 6000 ft, 25 minutes above 6000 ft). Then turn off heat and let the jars sit in the hot water for 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water bath and let sit on a counter for several hours until completely cool. The lids should "pop" as the cooling salsa creates a vacuum under the lid and the jars are sealed. If a lid has not sealed, either replace the lid and reprocess in a water bath for another 15 minutes, or store in the refrigerator and use within the next few days.
Remember to label the cans with the date processed. (I use a Sharpie on the lid.) Canned salsa should be eaten within a year.
Makes about 5 pints.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.


Lauren said...

I was just going to say that this looks awesome MINUS the salsa. I'll hang on and wait for the next one. :)

Lauren said...

Also, I see you have two big jars in the back. If the recipe calls for pint jars how do you adjust the boiling time for the larger jars?

JAN said...

Lauren, those big jars are a different salsa and I did process them a bit longer.

Amy said...

Thank you for posting these! I tried canning salsa for the first time this year and am looking for more recipes to try out. We grew our own green chili up here since we can't get it fresh.

Heather said...

Everyone is a snob about *something*! Salsa is not so bad :) Your salsa looks delish. I fell in love with cilantro this summer, used to hate it.

So maybe I'll have to try out this recipe!